My view from Up North: Eisners keeping promises a year on

The News have this week welcomed Fratton Park season-ticket-holder and work-placement student Dan Statham onto the sports desk.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 23rd May 2018, 10:38 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:45 am
The Eisners - who the Pompey Supporters Trust agreed to sell to a year ago. Picture: Joe Pepler
The Eisners - who the Pompey Supporters Trust agreed to sell to a year ago. Picture: Joe Pepler

Our temporary new arrival sits in the North Stand and is not short of an opinion or two with regards his hometown club.

Today he looks at the progress of the club's owners a year on from fans agreeing to sell to Michael Eisner's Tornante Company. Here's what he had to say...

Yesterday, was one year to the day since it was announced American billionaire Michael Eisner and Tornante would be buying out the Pompey Supporters Trust after four years of fan ownership.

On May 22 last year, it was announced that 1,872 supporters who held shares in the club had agreed to sell their stakes to the American billionaire Michael Eisner and Tornante.

The former Disney chief promised infrastructure improvements once he eventually assumed control in early August of last year.

The American paraded the idea of slow, methodical and fiscally-responsible investment.

In Tornante's first term as owners they have been exactly that. Financially responsible investment and much-needed improvements to infrastructure have been undertaken.

Improvements to Pompey's long-standing home Fratton Park were desperately required.

It was widely suggested the improvements required were large scale, totalling around a £5m pound investment.

As the season wore on, they began to be completed which has allowed capacity to be increased by around 500 extra seats.

Further funding has gone into recruitment and the academy as promised.

The Eisners promised to invest in Pompey's future, and by conducting some staff shake-ups, including the hiring of Dave Wright and Phil Boardman and adding further investment into youth recruitment, the Eisners are beginning to stamp their authority on youth policy.

As a Pompey fan for around 15 years, we all sadly remember the failings of owners who preceded the PST.

The Eisners promised strong and stable investment into the club with steady progression.

Kenny Jackett has had a moderate League One budget, but when called upon the Eisners have proved they aren't frightened of splashing the cash, but the reckless spending of Sacha Gaydamak isn't the route they would like to follow.

Last season the Blues spent money on recruiting Oli Hawkins, Dion Donohue and the like, and this summer they have already paid for new recruit Ronan Curtis.

The willingness to part with cash where appropriate is encouraging, meanwhile the approach of not overspending on players is also something which all Pompey fans can agree on.

Another significant improvement the Eisners have overseen is the smooth transition from kit suppliers and sponsors.

Out are the long-standing Sondico and Jobsite, who provided support during some tough years, and in are the more appealing Nike and the University of Portsmouth.

These changes, including removing Sondico's strong grasp on the club shop are also signs of the club going in the right direction.

The much-maligned Sondico were largely unpopular among fans, and supporters are excited to see Nike's first design of a Pompey kit.

From a fan's perspective, I am delighted to see this more measured approach to running a football club continue.

The PST left the club in a financially sound position, and its good to see the Eisners have come in and continued in that mould.

It would have been easy for new owners to splash the cash recklessly and cause damage to the progress the PST had made. For that, the Eisners must be commended.

Recruitment has been solid with money being spent, albeit not astronomical amounts, but you wouldn't expect there to be large expenditures from a club in transition.

Vital improvements to our much-loved home have been made, and as mentioned the moves regarding kit sponsors and suppliers are another positive move.

One year on since it was announced the Eisners were to take control, the American investors have made some shrewd financial decisions and have fulfilled on their promise of steady progression.